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Buffalito Destiny by Lawrence M. Schoen, klingonguy has earned an excellent review from Publishers Weekly

Excerpt: "As bizarre dreams guide him inexorably towards a mysterious destiny, Conroy deals with prophetic aliens, ancient Mayan ruins, exquisite sandwiches and the temporally-unstable state of Texas. Part crisis-filled road trip, part gonzo race against time and all tongue-in-cheek humor and charm, this nutty tale may sound strange, but Schoen somehow makes it all come together."

Congratulations, Lawrence!

Here is a Booklist review excerpt of Kim Vandervort's writerknv new novel, The Song and the Sorceress:

"This coming-of-age epic maintains its dramatic tension from the first scene. [Vandervort] imbues each of the novel’s scenes with a fine sense of historical detail, from costumes to courtly behavior, even as she builds a plausible world of magic. [Her] dynamic characters, surprising story turns, and unabashed romance will leave readers eager to follow the continued adventures of this sword-wielding princess."


Hadley Rille Books


Looking forward to seeing some of you at Worldcon!

Be sure to come to the Hadley Rille Books launch of writerknv's The Song and the Sorceress, Saturday night, August 8th, at the Delta Center-Ville Hotel.

And we have an excellent review to post here as soon as we have permission!

Greensburg is green

In 2007, the town of Greensburg, Kansas, was completely destroyed by an F5 tornado, killing several people, literally leveling the town. The main US highway (54) was closed for several months afterwards because the town wasn't passable (and they didn't need gawkers coming through while they worked to clean up the mess).

Soon after the disaster, the people of Greensburg decided to take the opportunity to go green and build a twenty-first century town with as small a carbon footprint as possible.

We drove through Greensburg in 2008 and the town was still pretty much in ruins, but there was a lot of work activity. Houses, businesses, etc. are being designed to severely reduced carbon footprint standards and the people of Greensburg have been very supportive of the decision and are taking part in this complete transformation of the town.

We stopped to get gas and load up on a few groceries at a brand new gas station/small supermarket. The supermarket portion was more like a real supermarket, not a convenience store, and it appeared that it was the main source for groceries for the area.

But what I really noticed was the attitude of the residents coming in and out of the store. They seemed unusually energetic and upbeat, and as I watched them interact with one another many an individual had a spring in her step, a smile on his face, and focused attention to the tasks at hand. They were all in this together--people of all ages--the rebuilding of their town, a brand new one for the future.

I had also been through Greensburg a year before the tornado. I didn't stop then, but at the time I thought the town's name fit it well. It's typical for towns in south central and southwestern Kansas, most of which were founded in the late 1800s, to be surrounded by farmland or grasslands, fairly flat and mostly devoid of trees, while the towns themselves have trees that have been there for generations, the towns looking a bit like oases. And Greensburg was, literally, very green. It had mature trees lining its old streets, towering over its old bungalows and Victorians. The downtown was similar to those of many towns in the area--century-old red brick buildings, some with ornate trim, some like sturdy versions of buildings seen in old westerns. Off from the main highway was one of Kansas' several roadside oddities, the "world's largest hand-dug well" (another is the largest ball of twine in Cawker City). The well is huge and a marvel of manual labor. They also had a large meteorite there. I don't know where it was originally found, but there are a number of places in that part of the state with massive meteorites buried just a couple of meters down from some ancient impact. I'm pretty sure the well and the meteorite survived the tornado, but seems I heard the meteorite was missing for a while.

The tornado bulldozed the houses to their foundations and stripped the trees of their leaves, and even a year later the few trees that remained were still missing all but their largest branches that seemed to strain against nature to sprout just a few leaves.

It's interesting that the town with the name "Greensburg" is being transformed from that of a green-colored town, thick with foliage, to a green community with the smallest possible carbon footprint. And it's amazing how a town can pull together like this and rebuild for the future, to be a model for other communities, for how a community can use nature to power its future after nature took away some of its past (except that its history still remains for the residents). Wind, which tried to destroy the town, will now help power its future.

Chaco Canyon - Ruins of the Ancient Ones

Chaco Canyon near (or perhaps in) Navajo land is home to the extensive ruins of the Ancient Ones.

The ruins are a long way from modern cities.

But 1000 years ago it was the center of civilization.

Pueblo Bonito

More Chaco pics and blurbsCollapse )
from sfeditor on DW


I'm talking about the series, particularly, TNG and DS9.  The background music is often extraordinary, but seems to be little noticed, rarely, if ever discussed.  They're just tidbits, just a few measures each, a quick melody lasting ten seconds.

But they are so beautiful that I've found myself, when watching on DVD, hitting rewind and listening again.  They seem to occur often, these extraordinary bits, during scene breaks.

So I've started keeping a log for when they occur.  Series, Season, Episode, Minute Counter.